10-man Brentford thrash Wolves at Molineux
Brentford claimed their first win on the road in the Premier League with a comfortable victory over Wolves at Molineux.
The newly-promoted London side, who arrived in the West Midlands with an unbeaten away record, took a first-half lead with a well-struck Ivan Toney penalty.
The Bees forward then turned provider to shrug off the challenge of Max Kilman and find strike partner Bryan Mbeumo at the back post for his first top-flight goal.
Wolves, who have failed to score in their opening three league defeats at home, did not register a shot on target in the West Midlands sunshine despite having more possession.
Adama Traore’s physicality and speed was a constant threat, and substitute Hwang Hee-chan impressed again on only his second appearance, but manager Bruno Lage will be concerned by his side’s lack of cutting edge.
The only negative for Brentford was the loss of Shandon Baptiste for a needless second yellow card, five minutes after his first, after he hauled down Francisco Trincao after losing possession.
Thomas Frank’s side climb to ninth in the table and face high-flying Liverpool in their next league outing, while Wolves slip to 14th with a trip to Southampton to follow.
If Wolves manager Lage was under any illusion as to the task at hand in trying to fill Nuno Espirito Santo’s rather large shoes at Molineux, he will no longer need any reminding.
The hosts have scored just two goals and lost four of their opening five league games under the new boss.
The silver lining for the Portuguese manager will be his side’s ability to throw men forward and create opportunities, as they did in narrow home defeats by Manchester United and Santo’s Tottenham, but these openings need to start translating into goals and points.
Traore was unplayable at times but his final delivery lacked accuracy, and on the one occasion it reached its intended target, Raul Jimenez could only guide his header narrowly wide.
The out-of-form Mexican striker has now produced 14 attempts without scoring – the most in the Premier League.
Brentford also slammed the door shut after going down to 10 men as Kristoffer Ajer made a crucial block with the goal at Trincao’s mercy late on.
By contrast, Brentford took their chances with aplomb to blow away the hosts in six first-half minutes.
Toney won the penalty after being wrestled to the ground by Marcal, before climbing to his feet and sending the goalkeeper the wrong way from the spot.
He then slid the ball to Mbeumo for the second in what looks like an exciting strike combination for the Bees, who could have scored another when the Frenchman broke clear to smash his effort against the crossbar.